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Pavement Management System

The State of California was among the first to adopt a Pavement Management System (PMS) in 1979. Like others of its era, the first PMS was based in a mainframe computer and contained provisions for an extensive database. After the data from each biennial condition survey was entered and analyzed, District Maintenance Supervisors used the voluminous printouts which they received to confirm their suspicions regarding pavement deterioration and recommended maintenance or rehabilitation activities.

For over twenty years, FHWA has actively promoted infrastructure management systems. Initially the states responded quickly to establish their baseline management systems for bridges and pavements. Not until the 1991 ISTEA legislation (and subsequent regulations in 23 CFR 500) were the requirements for management systems refined and expanded. Suddenly the states were burdened with new requirements for existing management systems. To add to the burden, CFR mandated four additional management systems.

CFR-mandated PMS enhancements fell under three general categories:

1. Data collection and management

2. Analysis, at a frequency established by the State, consistent with its PMS objectives.

3. Annual evaluations and upgrades as necessary in conformance with agency policies, practices, engineering criteria, and experience.

A Caltrans ad hoc group submitted proposed enhancements to the PMS. A contract was let in 1996 with Woodward-Clyde Associates of Oakland, CA. Since it is PC-based, the enhanced PMS is intended to accommodate many more users than its predecessor. Other new features will include an enhanced economic analysis capability and optimization in that the user can see the effects of funding levels vs. level-of-service and vice-versa.

Page last modified on April 16, 2013
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